What’s the first thing which springs to mind when you think of sports massage? That it's going to hurt? Whether or not treatment will be painful is one of our most frequently asked questions. On the other hand, some people have a 'no pain no gain' mentality, and that massage must hurt for it to work... not so!
Every one of us perceives pain differently. What is totally unbearable for one is a breeze for another. This is something we deal with every day when talking clients through how pressure during deep tissue massages effects them.
The pressure applied during massage can feel like pain to some, too much pressure can result in the tissues contracting and tensing in response to touch. This has the exact opposite effect that we are trying to produce. Think wall paper paste, if you hit it hard it remains solid and resists against your pressure, but if you gently push through the paste it melts and becomes penetrable. Your body works in a similar way.
All sports massage therapists differ in their approach and technique. Here at Fire & Earth we pride ourselves in offering treatments which work with the muscles and connective tissue rather than against them. We use deep tissue and myofascial techniques. This means we work slowly and deeply into the muscles aiming to get them to relax and release tension in a way which doesn’t bruise or damage them and causes as little discomfort as possible.
A great source of inspiration for us is Tom Myers who developed Anatomy Trains which links muscles and structures together through fascia, understanding that everything is connected. Using these principles, treatments are less painful but just as effective. 'Grateful pain' or 'a good hurt' are terms that were used a great deal when we were training, and this seems to sum up what most clients feel. The treatment isn’t painful (in the conventional sense of the word) but you know something is being done.
Of course, everyone is different and if you do prefer lots of pressure then we can adapt this for you. On occasions a very deep pressure may be what is needed so each session is tailored accordingly to your individual needs. Deep pressure is necessary and may be painful where there is scar tissue as these areas are dense bound connective tissue created during the process of healing.
Whatever methods you prefer we want you to leave us feeling awesome. So if you are nervous at thought of potential pain or discomfort please don’t be, talk to your therapist and they will do what’s right for you at the time.